How can I maintain some optimism about my child's future, given the crappy crappy world we live in?
I have a wholly delightful baby daughter, and since her birth have been overwhelmed by the intensity with which I desire a good future for her. More than anything, I want her to grow up happy, smart, good, strong, and, you know, whole.
Unfortunately, I don't necessarily see that happening. Maybe I just spend too much time on the damn Internet, but a lot of what I see and hear these days makes me think we just may be approaching the shrieking, cacophonous end of of rationality and responsibility, truth and beauty and order and inquiry and growth-- in short, a whole lot of what, to me, makes existence worthwhile. Certainly no crazy apocalyptic visions or conspiracy theories here, but on a human level I don't hold out a lot of hope for what the next century will bring. Despite my best efforts, it seems inevitable that the cultural environment's going to chew her up and spit her out, mess her up and prevent her from realising her full potential.
This freaks me out on a weekly-to-daily basis, and my husband is sick of the panicky pillow talks every time I see a scary news article or dip into a particularly nasty thread here or elsewhere. I don't see my mind changing on the global prognosis, but I'd really like to find a way to be more upbeat about the situation.
I guess I'm asking a non-gendered version of this question
, but the rationales offered there-- "Well, you've enjoyed your life, haven't you?" and "Maybe she'll work to make the world a better place" just don't cut it in this case. True, I had a pretty rad childhood, but the world is different now in so many ways from when I was growing up. And while I'd like to tell myself that she'll grow up to fight to better the world, as someone with quite a bit of historical training, I know that this has been a loooong time coming, and I have no illusions about one person being able to turn back the march of Western civilization. It's hard to get excited about sending my kid forth to fight a battle that's all but lost, or to spend her life effectively rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.... and since I'm not about to go the full-on Bubble Girl route, I know she'll end up being raised more by the world than by my partner and me.
I'm not looking to be persuaded that things aren't as bad as I think (especially since I'm guessing my specific concerns differ from those of most of the community members here), but pessimism is so common across the ideological spectrum today that I thought perhaps someone could share some ideas on how to deal with these kind of thoughts. How do you not get overwhelmed by big worries, so that you miss the joy of parenting? And how do you hold out hope for your kids, when you don't have much hope for the world?
Throwaway email is itstheendoftheworldasiknowit @ gmail.com. Thanks!